Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day 2011: "Mind Your Mother!"

As you may know, Earth Day was yesterday, April 22, 2011.  I spent the majority of the day working on projects around the house and got a good amount of things done.  It was a good Friday.  It was also Good Friday.   I also took it upon myself to inundate the FaceBooks with posts and videos about the Earth/Earth Day/Recycling/Littering.  My mother later in the day posted the comment: 
‘Missie, you have single-handedly provided enough Earth-saving info today to "save the Earth" with just your words - if only everybody would listen and just do it!! You go girl!!’
To which I responded:
 ‘Thanks, Mom! If ONE PERSON listens and joins's worth it to me! ;)’

And this is so true.  It made me decide to post this blog about it.  Because…why not?  I don’t expect everyone to take the time to look at all of my comments/posts/blogs about anything in general, let alone when they are swamped with a bunch of links and info on recycling and environmental awareness.  But, we are all in this together!  It is OUR world!  We all can do our part!  Every little thing counts.  All of the cliché sayings are true!  If I can turn on ONE PERSON to recycling or just being aware that they have a carbon footprint---it is worth it.  If someone sees something I post and later they take the time to give it a second thought when they are tossing some garbage out of their car window because of a silly video I posted about littering?  Yeah, that is worth it to me.

Check out this video from Greenpeace!  Are your hands helping or hurting?

I am personally an avid recycler; our household recycles and composts most of what we are able.  We are not the perfect zero waste home by any means, but we try to do what we can and are always looking for new ways to be greener.  We want our hands to help more than they hurt and to at least be aware of and try to control the carbon footprint we are leaving.  For our wedding, for example, I reused old green, brown, and clear (painted blue) glass bottles for centerpieces to hold wild flowers.  We used 100% compostable Chinet plates.  The invitations and favor boxes were all made out of 100% recycled paper.  I used natural twine and hemp for a lot of decorations/favors.  Every little bit counts!  It was a very “themed” yet different wedding, but it was a wonderful day that still made a point. 

"Each person influences the next; you have more pull than you think."

REMEMBER:  All newspaper, scrap paper, and cardboard can be recycled at most community drop offs/recycling centers.  All clear glass, tin, and aluminum are generally accepted at most drop offs as well.  #1 and #2 plastics can be recycled at select drop offs.  Check in your local area!  Some communities have curb side pick up for recyclables for a small fee.  Some places offer recycling along with their garbage service.  We don’t have this in our area, but I think even a small fee would be worth it, as our sorting and dropping off can be somewhat of a chore.  We usually only drop off every so often and have large garbage cans we fill with separated recyclables behind our shed.  I think that opting for pick up would be helpful if you have limited space.  Start to recycle what you can from your trash, ESPECIALLY PLASTIC, and you will be AMAZED at how it cuts back your trash output.  Now think of it in the grand scheme of things.  Logically we can assume that same percentage or ratio of the whole world’s trash sent to landfills could be decreased as well!  Experiment.  Try it.   If you burn your garbage, this helps cut back immensely on what ends up in your barrel/on your pile.  If you have garbage pick up, you will be sending way less to the land fill!  Try to think…where does something REALLY go when we toss it in the garbage?  We say "throw it away"...but where is "away"? 

If you do nothing else, here are 3 small ways you can make a difference:  Take a shorter shower; set back your thermostat 2 degrees; and recycle! [The Green Book, Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen].

"Eat your dinner.  There are starving children in other countries that would love to have that food!"  What your parents always told you was true.  Another big way you can help the cause is to try not to waste so much food.  Waste not, want not.  Some people are starving---so finish what you got!

 "If you could reduce the amount of food wasted in your household by just 25 grams per day (about the weight of a slice of bread), you'd save 20 pounds of food annually---roughly enough to make sixteen meals. If all U.S. households reduced their food waste by this amount, the savings would be enough to provide three meals per day for a whole year to each of the 1.34 million children in the U.S. who are homeless." [The Green Book]
You can also donate to the cause with a monetary donation!  Just like with the Red Cross text donations, you can donate a mere $5 via text to the Green World Campaign.  This organization plants trees in forests over the world.  You can text “TREE” to 85944 to donate $5 to the Green World Campaign to plant five trees in damaged forests!!
Let’s talk light bulbs!  Simply opting for CFL's can save money and carbon output.  Simple, right?  The GREEN BOOK says it is as simple as this: 
"If every American home changed out just 5 regular light fixtures or the bulbs in them with more energy-efficient compact fluorescent ones, we'd keep more than one trillion pounds of greenhouse gases out of our air---equal to the emissions of eight million cars. That's $6 billion in energy savings for Americans."
These bulbs are a little different color of light, but you get used to them.  We use these in our house.  My dad actually gave us a huge pack of them for Christmas one year!  The gift that keeps on giving!  He has been using these in his house since the early 90s.  I personally find them to be brighter.  They last incredibly longer while using fewer watts. 
‎"...(twenty-seven-watt compact fluorescent bulbs replace seventy-five-watt incandescent bulbs; eighteen-watt fluorescent bulbs replace sixty-watt incandescent bulbs.) For each twenty-seven-watt compact fluorescent light bulb you'll get carbon emissions savings of 140 pounds per year and save $12.00. For each eighteen-watt compact fluorescent light bulb, you'll get carbon emission savings of 110 pounds per year and save $9.50."

Stay informed!  Educate yourself on ways you can make a small impact and we can all work together to do the right thing for Mother Earth!  We’re all in this together, folks!  Give a shit!  Do something!  Don't toss it, sort it.  Turn off your lights.  Unplug unused appliances.  Use a clothes line!  There are tons of simple ways you can all make a difference and do your part along with me in your own way!  Let's try to work with the Earth and not against it.  

Helpful Resources:

Earth 911 is just an overall great site for information!

The Greenworld Campaign is a good organization that plants trees!  Trees are beautiful; I find them to be one of the most awesome things in existence.  Our world needs them to provide oxygen and strengthen the soil.  Donate $5 and they will plant 5 trees!

This is a very good concise breakdown of what can be recycled and can’t.
The World's Shortest Comprehensive Recycling Guide

This is a great site to look up your local recycling centers!
Recycling Center Search

This is an excellent book actually put together by Kohl’s Cares for Kids.  It is full of a lot of statistics and examples on ways to go green and help with personal stories from different celebrities telling how they make a difference:
The Green Book:  The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen

And don't forget to spread the word!  Get on someone you know that litters.  Post a blog of your own!  Spread the message.  Each person influences the next; you have more pull than you think.  And remember, you are speaking your voice when buying recycled/natural/organic products.  Shopping is voting!  Use your voice wisely.  

Your Fellow Human, Sister on Earth, and Partner in the Cause,
Missie Sue

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Ghost of Musical Past and a Glimpse of Hope

[This is a rant about music I wrote during the height of the BSB/Britney Spears/pop movement in an online survey in response to the question "What kind of music do you like?"  Probably was written somewhere between 2000 and 2004.]

I just have to say that I liked when the value of music was based off of its auditory sensation rather than its visual sensation.  It doesn't even make sense to me that music...that we LISTEN chosen based on the LOOK of artists.  Most of the music made nowadays is soulless and empty, a hollow shell coated in colored plastic and glam and popularity.  It's like grade school.  There's little to no depth to these songs at all.  And I seriously question the vacant minds of the people that listen to this garbage eagerly daily.  It's poppy and catchy, true...but that's what pop is...kinda like radio jingles, you know, when they're trying to SELL you something?...people are going to main stream radio and pop like it's the only music...and everything else is just a regurgitation of something else that was!! Why is it not "fashionable" to have a popular artist above the age of 25 nowadays, unless they are making a comeback?  16 to 25 year-olds are singing us our heartache and life troubles?  How is a 25 or under person more qualified to tell me about life?  I want to hear what the aged people have to say.  I want a singer on the pop charts in their 40's...50's...hell, I want one in their 70's!  I want a FAT, HAIRY, 72 YEAR OLD amazing lyricist with a BEAUTIFUL VOICE singing to me all that they learned over time!  Why are we so scared of aging?  Wisdom, people...we get better with wine or cheese....  In the 70's the charts were filled with balding and/or bearded, shiny, dorky looking NORMAL talented people...writing music.  Jim Croce was a construction worker for God's sake!  Look what he's done for America!  Britney Spears my ass...  A young pop star that's been in the music world their entire life is like a person of royalty...raised away from the reality of the real world in splendor and leisure all of their lives, preparing to take over their rich life style and feign empathy with the poor need a little more experience, sister, if you think you're gonna be telling me about life!!!  Sex sells to the easy people.  I'm not easy!! I want art, dammit!!  I want meaning!  Okay, I guess I was just supposed to say what music I liked, eh? Well...not that kind.  Haha.  It just gets me going...I bet we're missing out on a lot of GOOD musical art that is out there because it's passed over because it doesn't come in the superficial lame ass package.  Grow up America!!  I think we should all listen to indie seems once anyone gets famous enough to have popular music, the soul is sucked out of it and they are nothing but an empty turd...unless they have enough perseverance to hold on for the ride and push past the pretentiousness.

[This is something from March 2011.  After the emergence of some promising new bands from around 2007 to present, I become hopeful for music once again.]

Lady Gaga is neo Madonna.  "Old-Timey" has become "New-Timey".  There are musical groups that are actually interesting and different now, in an old familiar way.  We are having musical Deja vu.  We had some artists reminiscent of the 70's singer/songwriters, and now I think we're perhaps in the 80s, yet starting to head into the 90s again.  The "current" is a melting pot of all decades past.  The "modern" is a slice of previous pie.  As it has been and always shall be.  We went through a stagnant period for awhile, though, I think, but for the past couple of years there have been some very promising and interesting bands emerging.  Current music seems to be actually getting better, but actually looping back around on itself like space time.  I'm excited for neo grunge and the return of the 60s. 

[What are you listening to? ]

Monday, April 4, 2011

4 Old Blogs (circa 2005)

[Old stuff I found in "the vault" (a.k.a. my external) that was originally just posted on MySpace I think?  Either's old.  It's funny.  Trying to get everything in one place with this blog. -MS]

The clogs in our clock of time are turning.  Where will we be one million years from now?  Still on this rock?  Still killing her roughly?  Still unaware of what we are a part of? 
I doubt it.
I hope not, at least.
I like to think we'll be farther by then.  It makes me sad to think that I'll miss it.  Part of me will survive.  Part of me will exist still. 
The priorities of our world are severely wrong, currently.
Where's the empathy?
Where's our mutual respect for each other?
Where's the compassion?
You don't have to love your neighbor to respect your neighbor.
Too much pride, too much gluttony.
Everyone embraces selfishness, what about practicing selflessness?


 This man thinks his wife of 26 years is cheating on him, because he keeps seeing men wearing his old clothes around town.  His frazzled wife has been giving his clothes away to GoodWill.  There is an elated release when Maury's lie detector proves her devoutness.  She's relieved.  He was "100% sure" before she was cheating.  Terrible, to have been her at night, like a young doe.  The accusations.  The innocence.  He lifts her up off the floor into his arms after the lie-detector reading.  I bet he wants one of those to install right inside the door of their home.  Just like taking your shoes off.  Automatic.


Some man was legally protesting his requirement to pay child support for his daughter on Dr. Phil today.  He said he didn't have a choice (to abort, to give up for adoption, to abandon)...he said she did.  I think he had a choice.  Hrrrm...put it in...hrrrmmmm or not??  Hrrrm....with a condom? Hrrrmmmm or without??  Hrrrm....pull it out at least if I don't, at least try to decrease my chances a little???? Hhrrrrrrraaaaahrrrmmaaaahrrrrmmmmmmmmmmm...or not.  He said they initially used a condom and then didn't be he was misled because she said she was on the pill and said she couldn't get pregnant anyway.  Well, he listened to her.  What a douche.   He said it's not fair because women have the ability to choose whatever they want and men just have to do whatever they choose.  It was just crazy.  They were going to court over it and the lawyer was llike "Oh we're gonna win."  Anyone care about the kid?  Poor girl, yuppie dad and all.  And the moral of the story...wear a condom, guys...and don't have sex with yuppies, girls.


Blogggggg.  Bbbbblllllloggg.   Dr. Phil says he wants me to get excited about my life.  So maybe I'll shave my legs when I get a shower today.   I think that the Cheeseburger Bill is the epitome of American stupidity and hedonistic gluttony.  Physically removing part of your guts so you CAN'T eat the Twinkie comes in a close second.  We're just like the Romans.  They should just install vomitoriums in malls and food courts.  Sorry.  The "news" is on...the "olds"...the "passe"...the "thank god that groundhog got his teeth fixed because that's what I want to hear about when I'm living out my monotonous life"...It's so reassuring and inspiring to see that Punxy. Phil is dentally fine again.  I'm so elated to hear about the Cheeseburger Bill.  The news is just an annoying reminder of how the priorities of our country aren't getting any closer to the truth or what SHOULD be going through our heads day after day.  It's just a distraction.  Quick, give the stupid people their daily serving of fear.  Got 'em?  Today they get a choice of insolence or a side of lie fries.  Baaaad fries...baaad fries.  TO THE VOMITORIUM!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Never-ending 30 Day Challenge: "A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity"

Day 18:  "A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity"

Day 18 - A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity
Barbara Kruger, Your Body is a Battleground, 1989

I really wish that I could honestly say there was something else I could put, but it wouldn’t be truthful.  It seems body parts are somewhat of a theme for everyone on day 18 of this challenge.  My body may be my biggest insecurity, but I find it interesting that it is also the most common insecurity among women.  It is a battleground for us all.  Why is that?  Why is there such a theme with this question?   We tend to think at times ours is a personal problem and we are alone in this, but we really aren’t.  There is a reason that the diet industry takes in over 40 million dollars a year.  Statistics show girls today are more afraid of being fat than they are of cancer, nuclear war, or losing their parents.  Doesn’t that say something?  The average age that young girls start to diet today is 8.  I think this is very alarming, especially as a parent.  Insecurity begets dieting which begets eating disorders which beget insecurities.  A cycle emerges.  I think it is tragic that there are so many people unsatisfied with their appearance to the point that they will subject themselves to self-inflicted pain, starvation, and/or punishment---that there are people with so many different eating disorders mirrored with all of the hunger and starvation already in the world.  It appears we are all starving for something.  It seems so absurd when you look at it that way, doesn’t it?  Most commercial slots bombard you with relentless diet pills, drinks, or fads.  We are shown about 100 different pieces of equipment to work 100 different parts of our bodies.  We are urged to order now to look just like this shirtless, ripped man, or that scantily clad size 0 girl.  We are inundated with suggestions to shrink it, shave it, tan it, peel it, buff it and grow it.  This is our greatest insecurity?  Yes, it makes me feel shallow.  Yes, it makes me feel superficial.   Why is it such an issue for so many?  Why are we “taught” to hate our bodies?  Why do many women seem more concerned with their weight gain or the possibility of stretch marks or cellulite than anything else during pregnancy?  Human creation is a heavy burden---it’s bound to leave some foot prints.  Why does society practically encourage women to be ashamed of their “motherly” bodies?  Our bodies are complex enough to create human life and tough enough to expel it into this world---we women need to take more pride in that.  We are obsessed with retaining our youthful bodies, even as we age.  This plight does not affect only women; many men suffer from body image issues and eating disorders as well.  There is an immense amount of pressure for men to also be an ideal body type, but how did we all get this way?  Why are we so concerned with our looks?   Why are we so obsessed with the outside appearance of these vessels and not what truly lies within---what really matters?  Why are we all so superficial?  Are we pressured by the media or the industry?  Are we pressured by each other?  Are we pressured by ourselves?  It’s quite the conundrum.  It’s also a vicious cycle for most.  Weight issues aside, there are more battles with the body that people struggle with.  Simply striving to be healthy and fit is a battle all its own.  People are all insecure about their bodies for different reasons.  Has our world tainted the mind’s relationship with and perception of the body so much that very few people can truly enjoy theirs with no doubts?  Whatever the case, the majority of the population seems to have a negative body image.
Honestly, though, if worrying about what we look like or what others think we look like is our greatest “fear” in this life, then I think we’re all pretty well off.  Why is the majority of America overly concerned with looks, though?  Is it because we don’t have anything better to do or anything more serious to worry about?  Is it evolution?  Has the once animalistic fear or possibility of being eaten or otherwise eliminated by a predator been replaced by the fear of shame and social ridicule for physical appearances?  Surely this has to be a difficult kind of stress for our animal bodies to comprehend and process.  Does the trouble actually stem from our desire for unity?  While striving for this unity, do we all start to desire to be the same?  Are we destined to become “Stepford”-like copies of each other?   Just some of my questions and/or thoughts.  Any?
I say society needs to learn a healthier way to enjoy and celebrate our differences.  Some are tall and skinny, some are short and curvy, and that is okay.  Some are black, some are white.  Some are bumpy and some are lumpy.  Some are hairy---some are bald.  There is no “perfect” and trying to attain perfection is a futile and tiring battle fought between yourself and impossibility.  There isn’t one form---there are all forms.  Bodies are meant to be different, just like the snow flakes.  We should all strive to be healthy, not sexy, and we should work to attain our own idea of acceptable---for ourselves.  Truthfully, why should you give a shit what anyone else thinks about you, anyway?  Be happy with yourself---you’re not here to please them.  Besides, if people happen to have a problem with your appearance, then isn’t their real problem with themselves?

["A Picture of Your Biggest Insecurity" originally posted to Facebook Mar. 15, 2011]

The Never-ending 30 Day Challenge: "A Picture of Something That Has Made a Huge Impact on Your Life Recently"

Day 17 - A Picture of Something That Has Made a Huge Impact on Your Life Recently
"The Dichotomy of Existence"

There have been many things that have made a huge impact on my life recently, i.e. chiropractic care, my pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, postpartum issues, tongue ties, my child, my friendships, soul searching, death, life, the end of old, beginning of new, etc.  There has been, however, a definite theme, I believe.  These past months have been an era of symbolic change for me.  My buddy Boyd told me when we announced we were pregnant, “Babies change everything!”  Everyone understands this as truth before the fact; you still don’t realize how true it is until it actually happens.  Nobody could have predicted at the time how the Universe would unfold.  I replied to him, “I hope so!”  I was at a point in my life where I desperately wanted that change.  I wanted to feel like what I was doing, even though it was exhausting and challenging me, was making a difference.  I wanted to contribute to the bigger picture.  Even though my pregnancy wasn’t too rough on me, it is still a feat giving up your body for almost a year to an unseen force.  Pregnancy is a time of hope.  The worst was yet to come.  Creation was brewing within me.  I enjoyed spending time with my friends---time, I felt, we would never have again in the same way.  It was all too true.  The time passed us by, as it always does.  My baby grew in my belly.  My friendships grew in my heart.  I wanted that change, but had no idea just how different things would become.  As my baby would emerge from the womb, so would our lives emerge from underneath the umbrella of innocence that had been sheltering our celebration. 

I gave birth to my first baby Thursday, August 26, 2010.  My buddy Boyd died Thursday, September 9, 2010.  I know dates are irrelevant; it still happened, but the proximity of each event to the other made death a little easier and life a little harder.  Everything in life seems to become irrelevant when you stare at death.  Everything, that is, but life.  That is where my head has been lately.  Life vs. Death.  The great battle played itself out in my head and before my eyes.  With my beautiful baby girl in my arms, it felt as though I had most certainly won, while my friend, on the other hand, had greatly lost.  In truth, I suppose it was all of us that lost.  If observed from the proper perspective, it was also all of us that truly won.  We had the lesson; it was simply time for it to be over.  I was left feeling as though I hadn’t taken enough notes. 

It was another lesson for me handling the end of one life on top of the beginning of another.  I struggled with some postpartum/depression.  It was certainly a lot of change to take in at once.  I kept thinking about all of those who were or had been in situations far worse than mine---those who lost more than I lost and gained combined.  Even though it was definitely harder having a newborn baby during my initial time of grieving, she also helped me through it.   I suppose this is the cycle, laid out where the overlapping edges can be seen.  We have life, because there is death.  We can’t accept this life and all of the wonder that it has to offer us without acknowledging that death will one day come.  We can’t have the light without the dark, the day without the night, or the Yin without the Yang.  There would be no death without birth.  There can be no birth without death.  

“With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” – Max Ehrmann, Desiderata 

["A Picture of Something That Has Made a Huge Impact on Your Life Recently" originally posted to Facebook Mar. 08, 2011]

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Never-ending 30 Day Challenge: "A Picture of Someone Who Inspires You"

Day 16 - A Picture of Someone Who Inspires You

 The Universe.  I don’t know what It is.  But I believe there is more to this world than meets the eye.  I believe in signs and signals.  I believe if you slow yourself down to a whisper, the Universe just might speak to you.  I believe it can guide you if you watch for It’s language.  True, It is not a person, but let me explain…

“Someone” that inspires me---first thought, I would have to say my paternal grandmother.  She was an amazing woman; mother of 9, hard working farm girl, devout follower of God.  She defined the word “Faith” for me.  She was also the most loving woman I have ever met in my entire life.  She was a constant source of light and love for me.  She’s up there with Mother Theresa, in my book.  Of course, I am biased, though; everyone loves their grandma.  ;)   But the woman was a Saint to me.  Either way, my grandmother, whom I named my baby girl after, passed in 2008; she never got to see her.  She was such a positive influence in my life that I wanted to pay her homage.  Even before she passed, I knew I wanted to name my first daughter after her.  She was so wise.  She had so much love to give.  I always said it was as if God’s love was freely flowing out of her; she tapped into it somehow and passed it along to everyone.  I think that she understood life pretty well for an unassuming little farm girl from a small mining town in Pennsylvania.  She was very inspiring to me---she was a wonderful mother, an amazing grandmother, gave birth 9 times (actually, 10, I think, maybe), worked the farm all her life, taught catechism classes for well over 20 years.  She loved to teach, and she loved to learn.  She loved her family.  She was phenomenally faithful.  Creator---creation----creature.  She loved God---the Universe.  The One.  The Maker.  The Force. It’s semantics.  They’re really all the same thing, aren’t they?  But again, I digress.

Long story short, my grandmother passed.  It was hard for me.  I grieved; trying to feel for her somewhere out there in the Universe.  I came to more of an understanding of where I stand with things.  Some things I have always thought I believed started crystallizing within me, I think.  Then I recently lost one of my closest friends two weeks after the birth of my first baby.  These past months have been some of the most trying of my life---with the constant and obvious theme of change.  Immense symbolism was laid before me.  Life and death.  The worst and the best.  The darkest and the lightest.  Again, I grieved.  Again, things crystallized.  In creating, I am a new creature.  Which leads me here…

I have come to believe that when people pass, they become everything, they maybe understand everything, and they possibly are everything.  I’m not entirely sure; I’m not a theologian---I just live here.   They may not be in what we accept as our reality anymore, but I think they are still very much in the Universe.  The Universe is all that ever was or ever will be.  The Universe is everything.  You are the Universe.  I am the Universe.  We are the Universe.  We came from the Universe.  “We are star stuff,” to quote Carl Sagan.   

Now, my grandmother believed in “God-incidences”, as she called them.  Coincidences---divine coincidences.  God speak.  Signs, signals, landmarks, cues.  I think they’re out there.  I’m not saying that I am a pro at finding them all of the time and riding the “current of moment” constantly in my life, but I really do believe they are out there.  We are all energy.  Spirit moves through all things (listen to Science by System of a Down).  I think that spirit is like a river, or an ocean, flowing constantly through everything.  You can “catch a wave” so to speak---and ride the current of moment once in awhile if you are paying attention.  (I think there is a comedic spirit, an artistic spirit, athletic spirit, etc., etc.)  If you catch that current, you are in the zone.  You are in God’s grace.  You’re riding the current.  But you’re not meant to ride it forever; like everything, it comes and goes.  Ebbs and flows.  Peaks and breaks.  You just try to jump back on.

The Universe is someone that influences me because I am influenced by everyone and all things.  I am inspired by the people of the world; darkness and light; the forests; the waters; the mountains.  “I am only a product of my inspirations…” Jimmy Page is quoted as saying.  I am inspired by You.  (Yes, you!) You are the Universe.  I am inspired by her and him.  They are the Universe.  Everyone you meet can have a message for you or something you need to learn.  Again, teaching and learning.  I think that’s what we’re here for.  I am inspired by my grandmother.  She went to be with her Lord.  She is the Universe to me.  I was inspired by Boyd.  Now he is the Universe to me.  I’m no guru, or sage, or monk or religious teacher…but I can tell when I’m being spoken to.  I’m just following my journey.  I know that I am given signs.  I know that there are coincidences laid out before me every day.  I am not above the influence, but within it.  

["A Picture of Someone Who Inspires You" originally posted to Facebook Mar. 05, 2011]

The Never-ending 30 Day Challenge: "A Picture of Something You Want to do Before you Die"

Salvador Dali - Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy (The Three Ages) 

Day 15 - A Picture of Something You Want to do Before you Die

Live.  Simple enough, right?  I know that I could go with a hundred different thrill-seeking things here, i.e. sky-diving, para-sailing, bungee jumping, travel to hear or there, see a baby born, ride a dolphin, solve the energy crisis, bring about world peace, and tame a wild stallion--- all that crazy stuff.  But what do I really want in life?  I suppose I have always wanted what there is no promise of in life---a long life.  I want it all.  Youth…middle age…old age.  ALL of the stages we are intended to have. 
In life there are no promises.  You don’t know if you’ll be here tomorrow let alone 10, 20, 30, or 40 years from now.  Something I want to do before I die---GROW OLD.  I want to watch my children grow up.  I want the chance to have a wrinkly face.  I want to have a thin and wispy mane of gray.  I want to be a grandmother.  I want to be wise.  I want to do my best to pass on what knowledge and experience I have acquired over the years.  I want to age like a fine wine or a good cheese.  I know that getting old will have its share of difficulties, but isn’t that really the point of life no matter what stage you are in?  With so many tragedies in the world, we should all feel blessed to make it long enough to gray, or wrinkle, or sag, or forget a few things or names or where we left this or that.  I know that it’s going to be bittersweet, but what is life but a bittersweet symphony, seriously?  (I told you day 1---I’m obsessively nostalgic!)
Reaching old age is a gift from the Universe.  I will hopefully be softened by time and not embittered by it.  Youth and today will be so far behind me then.  I’m sure there will be many times I will gaze off into a sunset, musing about all of the days of yore and the people that have come and gone before me in my life.  When my life flashes before my eyes, I hope it is a happy and satisfying movie.  And when I feel Death coming for me, I want to give him a nod and grab my coat.  

["A Picture of Something You Want to do Before You Die" originally posted to Facebook Mar. 03, 2011]

The Never-ending 30 Day Challenge: "A Picture of Something You Hate"

Day 11:  A Picture of Something You Hate

My father always taught us growing up never to say the word hate. 
“Hate is a strong word,” he would tell us.  I will say I dislike many things, but he is right.  Hate is a strong word. 
I understand the heart of my father’s teaching in my soul.  It is wrong to hate.
But---if I were to hate anything, it would be---hate.  But what is hate?  I believe this picture is a symbol.  I wanted it to represent the two things I could actually say I hate:  1.) war   and/or  2.) hate    But they really go hand in hand, don’t they?  This picture represents hatefulness, I think at its best (worst).  I was taught not to hate, but there are some things that just seem hate worthy in this world.  It seems, though, that all of these things are derived from, or based off of hate.
So, if I were to hate, (this picture would represent that…) I would hate:

Hate; war…wasted efforts; nuclear warfare; terrorism; the end; the holocaust; injustice; oppression; poverty; rape; murder; torture; abuse; neglect; indifference;  intolerance; segregation; separation;  a self-created Armageddon; the fact that it could happen; thievery; selfishness; imprisonment; trickery; chicanery; lying; cheating; disrespect; neglect; what we did to the Native Americans; small pox covered blankets; relocation; repression; regression; depression; suppression; disease; pain; suffering; pillaging; stealing; manipulation; entrapment; distraction; raping the land; killing the Earth; diamond mines; poachers; littering; garbage dumps; wasted lands;…war; hate.  

["A Picture of Something You Hate" originally posted to Facebook Feb. 27, 2011]

I'm Blogging: "April Fools'!" No, really.

It is April Fools' Day and I am establishing my blog.  I love it.  It is my day, indeed.  A holiday for foolish acts and trickery.  Mwaha.

Here is some interesting information on April Fools' Day's origins! Interesting time of the year, with all of the holidays---Ground Hog’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, the Vernal Equinox, Ostara, April Fools’ Day, Easter. There’s just something about this time of year.

My spirit is so very thrilled Spring has returned! My allergies…not so much.

Me To You,

Missie Sue